CPT. JACK H. JACOBS
U.S. Military Assistance Command
Advisor – 2nd Bn, 16th Inf Reg, 9th ID
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
Kien Phong Province, RVN
March 9th 1968
Capt. Jacobs (then 1st Lt.), was serving as assistant battalion advisor to an infantry battalion of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. As the battalion advanced, it came under intense machinegun and mortar fire from a battalion or larger size element of Viet Cong. The enemy was well-positioned in fortified bunkers.
As the ARVN soldiers deployed into attack formation, their advance was brought to an abrupt halt by enemy fire. Capt. Jacobs called for and directed airstrikes on the enemy positions. Casualties mounted due to the intense fire, and when the Commander was wounded and became combat ineffective, the unit descended into chaos. Although himself severely wounded, Capt. Jacobs took command and control of the situation, ordering a tactical withdrawal from the exposed position and established a defensive perimeter.
Despite impaired vision from his own blood running into his eyes from a head wound, Capt. Jacobs, moved forward to evacuate a badly wounded American advisor. Jacobs dragged his brother to a position of cover then administered life-saving aid.
Rather than seek medical aid for his own wounds, Capt. Jacobs dashed forward, through heavy automatic weapons fire to evacuate the wounded ARVN company commander. Capt. Jacobs made multiple trips across the fire-swept open rice paddies evacuating wounded and their weapons.
Over the course of the battle Capt. Jacobs single-handedly engaged and drove off three separate Viet Cong squads who were searching for allied wounded and weapons.
Jack Jacobs’ gallantry and heroic actions saved the lives of 13 ARVN soldiers and his fellow American advisor, dispatching three enemy soldiers to their god and wounding several more.
As the result of Capt. Jacobs’ effort, the ARVN company was restored to an effective fighting unit and overcame a well-armed, well-entrenched, and determined enemy.
Col. Jack Jacobs remained active duty Army until his retirement in 1987, at the rank of Colonel. Jacobs’ combat awards include – 2 Purple hearts for combat wounds, 2- Silver Star Awards for Valor, 3- Bronze Star Medals for Valor, and The Medal of Honor.
In the course of his military career, Col Jacobs served as a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division, a battalion executive officer in the 7th Infantry Division (United States), and a battalion commander with the 10th Infantry Regiment in Panama. He spent two tours of duty in Vietnam, both times as an advisor to infantry units in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). Col. Jacobs is currently a news consultant for MSNBC.